In Which I Talk of Random Things

September 22, 2007 at 7:51 am Leave a comment

Two tales of The Beatles, and two episodes of “stuff in my life”. Figure out which is which to get a free pie!*

*Offer not valid anywhere

*****

One of the things that was really liberating in rock music was when the musicians involved realized that everything didn’t have to be a love song. Have any of you ever listened to the early Beatles albums? Every song is a variation of “there’s this girl that I love”.

With John Lennon’s “Nowhere Man”, though, the band suddenly noticed that there was a wealth of other topics they could jam about. On the album “Revolver” alone we got such classics as “Taxman”, “Yellow Submarine” and the incredible “Tomorrow Never Knows” based on this principle.

Perhaps even more liberating, though, was when the band realized the songs didn’t have to be about anything. Who needs meaning if the tune is great and the words have a good sound to them?

And this is how we got John Lennon singing about “yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog’s eye”, “elementary penguins singing hare krishna”, and “sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come” in “I Am the Walrus”.

It’s a fantastic song, really.

*****

The most emasculating thing anyone has ever said to me:

“It’s too bad you don’t have a vagina.”

This was once said to me by a girl I had a crush on (ack!). What she meant was that she thought it would be great if I were a girl because then I could go to their all-girl parties.

This is but one of the reasons High School sucked.

*****

It’s one of the central parts of literature that stories will reference other stories, as a way of incorporating their themes. Lot’s of stories make reference to old mythology or the Bible as a way of evoking the ideas those things contain. Bands use the same techniques when writing music.

What was fantastic about The Beatles, though, was the way they quickly built their own mythology.

“I Am the Walrus” references “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, and is in turn referenced by “Glass Onion”. “All You Need is Love” incorporates the chorus of “She Loves Me” as a way of evoking the giddy, carefree days of the early Beatles and what they had to say about love.

By the time they got to the two-disc White Album, The Beatles were going so far with this idea that songs on the second disc actually reference songs on the first. You know that tune you heard not half an hour ago? Wasn’t it fantastic? Doesn’t mentioning it create a sense of nostalgia and wonder?

Fuck, The Beatles were awesome.

*****

One of the big parties of the year, “The Market”, is going on tomorrow. It’s been heavily billed as the “get wasted and have random sex” party. Since I don’t drink, and have no interest in one-night stands, this party has absolutely nothing that interests me. But of course, since it’s the big party, I have to show up so people in my dorm don’t think I’m weird. After all, who wouldn’t want to go?

Being anti-social sucks, but considering the kinds of social obligations people have to put up with I can’t help but feel justified.

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Once Upon a Time in the West In Which I Reflect Upon a Most Excellent Sequence of Events

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